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NEWS
By Joseph Serna | June 18, 2012
More than a year's worth of policy decisions are coming full circle Tuesday when the Costa Mesa City Council will likely approve a budget that is heavy with infrastructure spending. What started as a budget surplus and became a deficit is now considered a balanced budget, one that's ready for approval for fiscal year 2012-13 with nearly $20 million in street, sidewalk and parks spending. Since early last year, the council majority has been pushing to scale down the city's payroll in order to boost spending in capital projects.
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NEWS
By Joseph Serna | July 6, 2012
An eighth candidate with a quality-of-life message has added his name to a growing list competing in November for three of Costa Mesa's five City Council seats. "I feel that the seniors don't have representation, that the animal lovers don't have representation in the majority," said Al Melone, a retired certified public accountant. "I want to look out for the little guys being marginalized and disenfranchised. " Melone, 66, who runs his own asset recovery business, wants to avoid the divisive rhetoric sometimes heard from the council dais, though he said he aligns himself with some of the plans for the city.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna, joseph.serna@latimes.com | September 2, 2011
COSTA MESA — Though originally told they could be laid off by mid-September, the earliest Costa Mesa workers could see their jobs outsourced is Nov. 19, city officials announced Friday. "The city wanted to let the employees know that nothing is going to happen until at least this time," city spokesman Bill Lobdell said. On March 17, 213 workers received notices that they could be laid off in six months. As a result of a Costa Mesa City Employees Assn. lawsuit, an Orange County Superior Court judge barred the city from outsourcing its services to the private sector until the matter is resolved in court; however, Costa Mesa can still research the outsourcing possibilities.
NEWS
May 18, 2011
At the injunction junction Wednesday afternoon, a judge found that stopping Costa Mesa's outsourcing was not her function. At least not yet. For the time being, Orange County Superior Court Judge Tam Nomoto Schumann has denied a request for a temporary court-ordered injunction blocking Costa Mesa's proposed layoffs of hundreds of city workers. Saying that the layoffs were still months away and that no one would be immediately affected, Schumann delayed issuing a decision on a court filing by Orange County's organized labor to stop Costa Mesa's outsourcing plans.
NEWS
November 21, 2011
The earliest that Costa Mesa employees could be laid off as part of widespread outsourcing is Jan. 6 — nearly four months past the initial date when workers were told they could be let go, city officials said Monday. The layoffs are part of a broad city restructuring plan to lower pension costs and increase capital improvement spending. The city first notified more than 200 city employees March 17 that their jobs could be outsourced in six months. In September, the city changed the date, saying no one would lose their job before Nov. 19 as the City Council put city services out for public bidding.
NEWS
October 8, 2011
Recent columns, commentary and article comments on the current outsourcing debate in Costa Mesa have left out one key detail — the fact that the city has long considered contracting out city services (outsourcing) a "…viable, realistic alternative to providing … services with city staff. " The reality is that outsourcing is an established policy and practice in Costa Mesa. In fact, consideration of outsourcing is a required element of the annual budget process. Twelve years ago, the Costa Mesa City Council adopted Council Policy 100-6, effective May 17, 1999, because "...[t]
NEWS
By Joseph Serna, joseph.serna@latimes.com | July 21, 2011
COSTA MESA — The city announced Thursday that it is formally exploring partnerships with Newport Beach and Huntington Beach to share multiple services. Costa Mesa is looking into sharing the SWAT team, emergency dispatch, animal control and other services, Costa Mesa city officials announced Thursday. Many of the ideas have been publicly discussed this year as possible options for the cash-strapped city. "The idea of sharing municipal services with our neighboring cities has been talked about for years, but with the recent fiscal challenges, it has been given added urgency," said city spokesman William Lobdell.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna, joseph.serna@latimes.com | August 26, 2011
COSTA MESA — An injunction prohibiting the city from outsourcing employee-performed work to private companies will remain in place after the California Court of Appeal in Santa Ana on Thursday threw out the city's petition to have it lifted. The three-judge panel — consisting of Acting Presiding Justice William Rylaarsdam, and associate justices Richard Aronson and Raymond Ikola — dismissed Costa Mesa's 43-page petition for a writ of mandate. "Courts continue to reject any justification for the City Council majority's outsourcing scheme," Orange County Employees Assn.
NEWS
July 13, 2011
Given the opponents, maybe the event should include a referee and a bell for different rounds. On Friday afternoon, the League of Women Voters of Orange Coast will host a panel discussion at Coco's in Newport Beach. It features Costa Mesa city officials and Orange County organized labor representatives discussing Costa Mesa's city restructuring. On one side, Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer and Councilman Steve Mensinger will argue why the privatization of some city jobs is prudent and will strengthen the city's financial ground, which they say is perilously shaky.
NEWS
May 14, 2005
Church should abide by 1984 agreement I'm a 25-year veteran of the St. Andrew's issue. My husband and I have lived in Newport Heights and have owned and operated an architectural firm for 30 years, also in Newport Heights. My perspective comes from both a concern about our neighborhood and an understanding of the city's due process. But, like the neighbors who have cried out publicly and in the local paper, I am deeply concerned. The proposal St Andrew's is making is too large for its suburban setting.
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